What content you can create during COVID-19
It’s week three (or four, depending on where you are) of working from home and church online. We’ve had a couple Sundays of frantically creating a digital service. We’ve adjusted to small groups by Zoom and staff meetings virtually.
As we settle in for the next several weeks, what’s next? Not what’s next for the virus or the impact in our communities, but what’s next for our church? Specifically the content we create and publish online.
I propose something (potentially) unusual for your church:
Use your church as a host.
Don’t assume everything you publish has to be original. Instead, use your platform to create content.
Curating over creating
One of the ways companies and individuals build a following is through curating information. In other words, they filter through the noise and offer relevant, helpful content to their audience. They find experts and share someone else’s expertise.
In a world with so much uncertainty for an indefinite amount of time, we need people to stand up and offer helpful insight. We need clarity in the midst of chaos. We need someone we trust to lead us forward, even if we only go a few steps ahead.
That’s where your church comes in. Hopefully you’re a trusted place, a source of truth and hope for people in your community. You should leverage that influence right now, and in doing so you produce incredibly valuable (yet unexpected) content.
Here are five ideas you should try right now:
- Help business leaders pivot. Find someone in your church who owns a business, or find someone who knows someone who knows a business owner. Host a Facebook Live or webinar with this leader giving practical ideas to help companies pivot so they stay open.
- Have a financial expert explain the stimulus. The $2 trillion congressional stimulus has implications for your congregation, but it’s confusing. Host a webinar (like the ones hosted by Church Fuel or Courage to Lead) explaining what people should know and do.
- Let teachers give tips to parents. With everyone working from home and school closed, parents are struggling to navigate each day. Record a Zoom call with a teacher who gives practical tips on how parents can maximize their days.
- Marketing leaders give insights to help local businesses. There’s a lot of uncertainty right now amongst marketers. They don’t want to sound callous or tone-deaf, but you need marketing to make money. Find a marketing leader in your church and have them share ways to still leverage this season.
- Singles host a happy hour. For Baptists, this means people gather at 5 PM and drink grape juice. For everyone else, it’s a normal happy hour. Churches with a lot of singles should really be intentional with this group. Loneliness is real, and community is an antidote to loneliness.
- Videos from a local restaurant. It’s no secret restaurants are struggling right now. Many are trying to stay afloat through takeout specials. Have your staff or leaders go to one of these restaurants, then take a short video in the parking lot promoting the business.
- Post a conversation. Jimmy Fallon has fun, relaxed interviews with celebrities during his current version of The Tonight Show. Do the same thing: have a 10-15 minute conversation on Zoom debriefing the sermon, talking about how they’re working from home, or anything else that’s useful and interesting.
Use this season to try some different things. Whatever you do, remember this: you have an opportunity to serve your congregation and community in fresh ways right now. Be creative. Be useful. We are counting on you.